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A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas
Feb 16, 2018
<h5>Renewable energy developers pairing with storage to beat gas.<br/></h5>
<p>BLOOMBERG -- Natural gas is getting <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-11/a-new-era-of-batteries-spells-trouble-for-natural-gas-in-america" title="A New Era of Batteries Spells Trouble for Gas in America (1)" target="_blank" style="vertical-align: baseline;">edged out</a> of power markets across the U.S. by two energy sources that, together, are proving to be an unbeatable mix: solar and batteries.</p><p><br/></p><p></p><p></p><p>In just the latest example, First Solar Inc. won a power contract to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/terminal/P41IW0MEQTY9" title="APS, First Solar Partner on Arizona’s Largest Battery Storage Project" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" style="vertical-align: baseline;">supply</a> Arizona’s biggest utility when electricity demand on its system typically peaks, between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The panel maker beat out bids from even power plants burning cheap gas by proposing to build a 65-megawatt solar farm that will, in turn, feed a 50-megawatt battery system.</p><p><br/></p><p></p><p></p><p>It’s a powerful combination for meeting peak demand because of when the sun shines. Here’s how it’ll work: The panels will generate solar power when the sun’s out to charge the batteries. The utility will draw on those batteries as the sun starts to set and demand starts to rise.</p><p><br/></p><p></p><p></p><p>Just last week, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/NEE:US" title="Company Overview" rel="nofollow noopener" style="vertical-align: baseline;">NextEra Energy Inc.</a>’s Florida utility similarly <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/terminal/P3WHH06TTDS2" title="NextEra Deploys Battery Storage at Solar Plant in Florida" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" style="vertical-align: baseline;">installed </a>a battery system that’ll back up a solar farm and boost generation. In California, regulators have called on PG&amp;E Corp. to use batteries or other non-fossil fuel resources instead of supplies from gas-fired plants to meet peak demand. The state is adding energy storage to backstop wind and solar power.</p><p></p><p><br/></p><p></p><p style="vertical-align: baseline;">And batteries may be about to get even more competitive. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre said he expects the agency to decide Thursday on a <a href="https://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20180208162304-sunshine.pdf" title="FERC REGULAR MEETING" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" style="vertical-align: baseline;">proposed</a> rule that could <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/terminal/P43GZ56KLVR4" title="FERC To Issue Energy Storage Order on Thursday: Chairman" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" style="vertical-align: baseline;">remove</a> barriers to energy storage participating more in wholesale markets.</p><p style="vertical-align: baseline;"><br/></p><p style="vertical-align: baseline;"><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/PNW1:US" title="Structure" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" style="vertical-align: baseline;">Arizona Public Service Co.</a> spokeswoman Annie DeGraw said the bid the utility received from First Solar was “very competitive, and it had the added benefit of being clean.”</p><p style="vertical-align: baseline;"><br/></p><h5>Thank you to our friends at <i>Bloomberg</i> for providing the original article below:</h5><p></p><p></p><p></p>

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